Greater Bible Work

Greater Bible Work—No. XVIII

With this number of the Ministry we bring our "Greater Bible Work" series to a close. We shall discuss here a number of the Bible instructor's miscellaneous problems, beginning with her living quarters.

By the Ministry staff. 

With this number of the Ministry we bring our "Greater Bible Work" series to a close. We shall discuss here a number of the Bible instructor's miscellaneous problems, beginning with her living quarters.

Selecting a home is no simple matter for the Bible instructor, for there are some vital fac­tors to be taken into consideration if she is to have the necessary comforts and conveniences, and also to live where her work will be carried on to the best advantage. Usually she is one of the type of workers who know no perma­nent dwelling place ; yet her life should not be a g-ypsylike existence. Our attitudes in­fluence our work, and although one's stay in a certain place may be of short duration, the time spent there should be influential in every respect.

The Bible instructor must develop the knack of settling herself in a new place without mak­ing a whole community aware of her arrival. It is recommended, for the sake of the work, that she have but few possessions. Every article should be necessary and of the type to make transportation simple. While some Bible instructors have their own housekeeping estab­lishment, or perhaps the furniture necessary for a small apartment, the majority have to live their lives in just one room, with limited house­keeping facilities. This is hardly from choice, for these plans do not appeal to the average woman; but they are sacrifices made for the work. Some become experts in working out their home furniture and equipment problems on the next to "blessed-be-nothing" scale, as far as ownership is concerned; but this causes one to keep on replacing items at financial loss, or be forced to borrow or rent those articles which others own as standard essentials.

Bible instructors of experience have learned some pointers they might well pass on to others. When locating in a new place, they make but temporary arrangements at the start. If one then lives with a Seventh-day Adventist family until more permanent plans are worked out, there is no disappointment later when changes must be made. A Bible instructor should not be asked to live with a struggling Seventh-day Adventist family merely to help them work out their financial problem. Experience is a hard teacher, and we can save ourselves much em­barrassment by being more cautious beforehand than sorry afterward. One needs a telephone and some utilities which poverty cannot provide.

There are enough problems to be worked out with our readers, and added home cares must be avoided.

One's living quarters may be a bit cramped, but they can be neatly organized. Cleanliness and neatness should not be affected by cramped conditions, for they are personality traits of the worker. To stress Sabbathkeeping and health reform to those not of our faith when one's own little home is a scene of disorder and confusion, destroys the very message we teach.

When making arrangements for a place, one should ask if it includes facilities to wash and press one's clothes. We are judged by our appearance. The Bible instructor's work is visiting. Good taste suggests that she dress, not as a housewife, but as a caller, and not as a neighborly visitor, but as a professional gos­pel worker. Whether she wears dark colors or dresses of subdued shades, may be regulated by her age and personality, the climate and the community in which she is called to labor. There is a place for the uniform which is worn by women workers at the evangelistic meeting. This must be the essence of good taste and neatness.

Another question that enters into the Bible instructor's home problems is that of the amount of money she should pay for rent. She should live in a good neighborhood of the middle class of people. For this privilege she may have to pay a little higher rent than is ordinarily the case.

Bible instructors should be good managers. Bills should be paid promptly. A budget and a record of one's daily expenditures is important, especially for those who must file an itemized laborer's report with the conference every month, showing their expenses for every day. Some workers detest keeping accounts, but since this is a part of a Bible instructor's life, one should adjust her likes and dislikes and fall into line. To humor one's idiosyncrasies is foolishness, but to take oneself in hand is Christian wisdom.

We who claim to be experts of Bible mathe­matics and of the finance of the church should be masters of our own finances. It is to be regretted when poor management necessitates enlisting the help of the conference treasurer. True, illness can come to anyone, and emergen­cies will bring pressure to our personal budget, but there are always ways by which the confer­ence can handle these items. As Christian workers, we should manage our own affairs so judiciously that they will give no cause for the slightest suspicion of imposition or ill manage­ment on our part.

When the time comes for a worker to be transferred, let the Lord direct. After a few years of frequent transfers to other cities or fields some workers develop a restive spirit which grows on them to the extent of becoming a real problem to conference administrators. Let us believe that an all-wise Providence is shaping our future and that we must even­tually give an account of the money conferences have to spend to settle us again and again. While it is not wrong for us to have an occa­sional conviction that the Lord is leading us elsewhere, we should maintain our confidence in God's leadership and the brethren who plan His work at large.

We who teach other people to find the Lord's program for themselves, on their knees, must learn the same lesson for ourselves when our problems must be weighed. Workers who give great concern to various "calls" that come to them should understand such calls are often the result of their own restiveness. The art of settling down to the present task until God Himself points out another field of labor is an experience in true holiness which we may indi­vidually practice. On the other hand, some fields would never provide the proper develop­ment for some workers, and it is a sign of alertness and good judgment for them to help bring about transfers that will make them more useful to the cause.


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By the Ministry staff. 

December 1943

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